Lauren and Jeff
How We Met
Jeff and I met when I was a junior in college at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I was on the dance team, and my best friends that I danced with were from his hometown in NJ. My best friends were also dating two of his best friends at the time. One random Sunday afternoon, my friends said they were going home to go to a barbecue that their boyfriends were hosting and asked if I wanted to come. I considered going, but I had to study for a test and had work early the next day. Eventually, I decided to go with them, in the back of my mind knowing we would NOT be making it back to school that night. I end up having the best time drinking and playing yard games with everyone. I decided to play dizzy bat, and this unbelievably cute blonde with the most piercing blue eyes I had ever seen begins playing with me. We kept drinking and stayed up all night dancing to “Call Me Maybe”. Needless to say, the rest is history. I always think back to that day, and say to myself, “What if I had never gone to that barbecue?”. Boy, am I glad I did!
How He Asked
Jeff and I had traveled with my family to Florida for my graduation from Graduate School in Speech-Language Pathology. In the back of my mind, I was hoping he would propose, however, did not get my hopes up as I did not want to ruin an already amazing weekend. Jeff’s sisters live in Palm Beach, FL, so we spent that Wednesday with them and then drove to Fort Lauderdale for my graduation. Thursday night I had an awards dinner for my school, where I was awarded the Dean’s Award for highest scholastic achievement in my graduate program. I was on cloud nine! Friday, I graduated with my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology, in which Jeff supported me every step of the way for three years. Even when I yelled at him for no reason, he was always there to bring me coffee, rub my back, or just be a shoulder to cry on when I became stressed. Throughout the weekend, I had said to my mom, “I don’t think it’s going to happen this weekend.” She would then proceed to tell me, “Just be patient. It is worth the wait. Let him have this moment.” That Saturday morning, we planned to drive back to Palm Beach to spend the next two days with his family, and my parents were flying back home to New Jersey.
The plan on Saturday was to drive there in the morning, do brunch with his sisters, and then go out to a nice dinner to celebrate my graduation. On Saturday morning, I set my alarm for 5:00 AM as it was the morning of the royal wedding, and I needed to watch it! My parents had texted me that they had boarded their flight and they would see me the next day. Not too long after that, his sister Jill texted me saying his nephew had lice and she had to get the whole family checked and wash all of the clothes and linens, and that she would not be able to make brunch. His other sister Jenn, insisted that we still go to brunch with her. So, we leave the hotel and head to Jenn’s house to go to brunch. When we get to Jenn’s house, her father was watching the royal wedding, so I took a seat on the couch and watched it yet again, since I just love a good wedding! Not realizing how long Jeff and his sister were taking to get ready for brunch, I start to ask when we are going. It was torrentially raining that day, so they had decided to wait until the rain let up a bit to drive to brunch.
Meanwhile, his sister Jill had called to ask us to stop over to just say hello before we went to brunch. I did NOT want to go to that house, considering his nephew had LICE! But we went anyway. All dressed up for brunch in the torrential rain, we drove over to her house. Jeff gets out of the car before me and heads into the house. I get out, and behind me I hear Jenn say “Take off your raincoat! Leave it in the garage!” Of course, I didn’t listen. I walk into their kitchen from the garage and in the distance I see balloons. In my mind, I was thinking they were for my graduation (since his sisters LOVE to celebrate!). I continue to walk in, and I see the coffee table filled with roses and candles, and my heart starts to beat faster. I look to my right and my left, and there are more candles and pictures of Jeff and I throughout our years of dating. Then, I see Jeff on the back patio, with an entire set up of roses, candles, champagne, and more pictures of us.
At that moment, I had realized what was happening. I started crying and began to walk toward him. The second he got on one knee, I completely lost it. The moment I had been waiting for 6 years, was finally happening. I was in such shock and crying so hard, that I barely remember what he said! I’m not even sure he remembers what he said because he started crying too! He put my ring on and it was absolutely perfect! He also had hired a photographer that got all of my ugly crying shots! Jeff then guides me back in the house, where his whole family came down the stairs!
His sisters (who live there), his nephews and nieces and his parents (who he flew in from NJ)! I didn’t even have time to process that my parents had already flown home and weren’t there. I was so surprised to see his parents that I began crying more! I then hear Jeff say “It gets better”. I turn around to see my parents and my grandmother come down the stairs! They didn’t go home after all and I was so thankful, as I would never want them to miss this! It honestly was the best day ever.
His whole family goes on to tell me that Jeff had planned for so long for the proposal to be on the beach, however, due to the rain, they needed a Plan B and fast! Everyone involved planned this incredible Plan B proposal, that I now consider Plan A! Looking back, that morning, Jeff and his sister Jenn were stalling as long as possible to get everything set up. Obviously, his nephew did NOT have lice! My parents also proceeded to tell me that Jeff (poor guy) couldn’t sleep or eat for the three days leading up to the proposal. In all of my graduation craziness, I didn’t even notice, which I guess was a good thing because I was unbelievably surprised. I am normally not surprised about anything as I am in the know for pretty much everything, however, I had to give it to him!! Although the beach would have been gorgeous, I would not have wanted my proposal any other way. It was absolutely perfect!